When Steven Kwan emerged at the beginning of the season, he got a lot of praise for his plate discipline and ability to get on base. It took him 116 pitches to swing-and-miss at a pitch (which broke the record for a rookie) and he had an OPS of .959 in the month of April/May.
This is exactly what you want in your leadoff hitter. So now that Kwan has filled this role full-time, how has he been doing?
The answer to that question: he’s been great!
Kwan has led off for the Guardians in 10 games this season, which has resulted in 48 plate appearances. In those games, he is slashing .372/.417/.442. Everything that Kwan was applauded for when he was hitting second and later in the lineup, is transferring nicely to the top of the order.
He is still getting on base at a high level whether that be by walks or hits and is working pitchers into high counts.
I have always admired Kwan for his approach at the plate. He only has two strikeouts in his ten games as a leadoff hitter demonstrating what Kwan’s goal is when he is at bat. Either get on base or work up the count.
Myles Straw had been the leadoff hitter for Cleveland ever since he was acquired from Houston at the 2021 trade deadline. But with his struggles at the plate this year, he has slid down the order which is what has allowed Kwan to take over that leadoff spot.
I truly believe that Straw will figure it out and get back to the hitter he was last year, but when he does Tito will have to make the decision on who will be at the top of his lineup. Will Kwan stay in there or will it be Straw?
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